The Dallas Stars’ woes in the second night of back-to-backs continued Wednesday night, and as has often been the case – it wasn’t pretty. The Stars allowed seven goals in a game for the first time in two years, falling 7-4 to the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
The Stars are 0-4-0 in the second game of back-to-backs this season, and 1-15-2 in those second games over the past two seasons. They’ve been outscored 14-5 in second games this season, and 64-29 over the past two seasons.
“It must be something. It must be something with this group because we can’t seem to fight our way out of it,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “We’ve tried different routines and the whole bit — it must be mental.”
The Stars found themselves in a hole early Wednesday night and could never dig out of it. Calgary scored three times in the first 9:55 of the game to take a 3-0 lead, and the Stars could never get closer than a two-goal deficit.
“We were soft in the beginning, soft with our sticks, soft with our plays. We weren’t ready,” said Gulutzan. “I thought they played a solid game, but I didn’t think they came guns a blazing. I thought we were just soft.”
Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester scored off a scramble in front of the Dallas net 3:11 into the game, and then the Flames got power play goals from Jiri Hudler and Mike Cammalleri to make it a three-goal lead midway through the first period.
“You can’t get down 3-0 in another’s team’s barn on a back-to-back, give them two power plays and get down,” said Gulutzan. “You just can’t do that. You can’t win that way.”
The Stars fought back and stayed in the game with goals by Eric Nystrom, Brenden Morrow (2) and Cody Eakin. But every time they got within two, the Flames would extend the lead to three.
“It just was that kind of game, up-and-down hockey,” Stars forward Jaromir Jagr said. “We had no other choice to do it because we were down right away but every time we scored, they answered right away. We couldn’t get it back.”
The Stars allowed only 23 shots in the game, but the quality of the shots was high. Goaltender Richard Bachman, making his second start of the season, allowed six goals on 22 shots.
“He’s certainly had better nights, but we didn’t give him any help. We didn’t give him any help at all,” Gulutzan said of Bachman. “Point blank shots. We limited the shots, but when they are all point blank what is your goalie going to do?”
The Stars fell to 7-6-1 on the season. The Flames, who won for just the second time at home (2-3-2), are now 4-4-3 overall on the season.
“It’s important to play well in front of your home crowd and your home fans,” said Cammalleri, who scored three goals, including his 200th career goal. “We liked the energy we brought tonight that way. With that came some offensive production which was nice and I’m sure everybody in the building enjoys that.”
*The Stars were 0-2 on the penalty kill.
*The Stars were 2-4 on the power play.
*The Stars haven’t allowed seven goals in a game since January 24, 2011 when they lost 7-1 at Vancouver.
*The Stars outshot the Flames 34-23. It was just the second time this season the Stars have outshot their opposition.
*Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak picked up his first NHL point in the game, assisting on a Brenden Morrow goal in the second period.
*Cody Eakin’s third period goal was his first as a Dallas Star.
*Philip Larsen, Tomas Vincour and Tom Wandell were healthy scratches for the Stars.
*Ray Whitney, who is on injured reserve with a foot injury, missed his sixth straight game.